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Saudi Telecom to introduce cheaper roaming fees

Subscribers of 30 foreign operators to benefit, fees to fall by up to 69%.

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) said on Sunday it plans cheaper roaming rates with 30 foreign telecom operators, in an apparent move to lure customers ahead of the launch of a third mobile operator in the kingdom.

State-controlled STC, the largest Arab telecom company by market value, will offer discounts of up to 69 percent in August for operators in countries including Indonesia, Kuwait, South Africa and Turkey, it said in a statement.

STC, which accounts for 60 percent of Saudi mobile telephone subscriptions, competes with Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) in a saturated mobile communication market. Zain Saudi Arabia plans to start operations next month.

Other operators include Vodafone's networks in Egypt, Australia and in Europe, South Africa's Cell C, Turkey's Avea, Oman Telecommunications Co and Syriatel, it said.

Zain Saudi Arabia is led by Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co., which says its has the fourth largest global geographic presence. (Reuters)